The Advantages of Using Polished Concrete in Residential and Commercial Architecture

Posted November 7, 2018 | Tags: Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is a highly versatile building material that can be easily customized to fit into just about any kind of design. The appearance can be precisely designed by mixing the right proportions of quartz, aggregates, and mix of colors to get just the right amount of sophistication for your house or new office.

It has a very reflective surface that plays well with light to evoke a range of emotions and perceptions. As a result, it can be very useful in the design of a variety of spaces, from your new kitchen to the modern workspace.

Many people don't think of the use of polished concrete beyond the floors of interiors. The truth, however, is that architects have been using polished concrete and pushing the boundaries of what it can be used for many years.

Polished concrete has been used in large exterior panels, patio floors, and feature walls, among others. A famous example of a polished concrete exterior panel is the extension to the Saint Louis Art Museum by David Chipperfield.

A variety of styles and cost

There are a variety of ways to create polished concrete. Some of them are pretty inexpensive, such as the grind-and-seal method. Others, like the honed concrete method, are very expensive. The honed concrete method uses a sealer that penetrates through the concrete to create a highly reflective surface.

The most common use for mechanically polished concrete is commercial. This concrete is very resilient and durable when subjected to heavy foot traffic. The porous concrete is densified with a chemical hardener and then ground to the level of smoothness and gloss desired by the architect. This can be achieved in much the same way that wood is sanded: by using finer and finer tools. The finest level is 3000 grit level.

When evaluating polished concrete, you should also consider the exposure level of the concrete. This is the amount of aggregate material exposed after the original surface is ground away.

It’s very easy to maintain

Polished concrete is popular because of just how easy it is to maintain. It is easy to clean because it is at once both smooth and hard. It is also very hard to damage, easy to repair if damaged, and lasts a long time.


Polished concrete is highly customizable and versatile. Many different colors, aggregates, and finishes can be applied to make it mimic different materials, such as ceramic and stone tiles.

The colors of the concrete are usually mixed into the concrete long before the slab is applied. They can, however, be applied later via waterproof paint, stain, or dye. You can also carve patterns into the surface of the content to create false tiles.

It is Sustainable

Polished concrete is considered a green building material. This is because it uses the already existing floor slab and does not involve any extra materials. It retains coolness well in summer and keeps the house warm in winter. 

The production of concrete, however, does have a higher carbon footprint than that of steel and wood. While concrete has a wider price range than other materials, it is more cost effective due to its combination of low maintenance costs and high durability. 

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